Today I'm celebrating 21 amazing, hard, exhausting, lovely, fun, exasperating, learning, beautiful, blessed and love filled years I've been married to this man.
Here are 21 tips on how you, too, can stay married through season one of Survivor, 9/11, the breakup of The Jonas Brothers, the invention of laptops, every season of Hannah Montana and the tongue out, car-wreck years of Miley Cyrus.
1. Hold hands. Sounds simple, till you're hoppin' mad or can't agree on how to discipline the kids. Do it anyway.
2. Go to church together. It's the most important thing you'll do all week. Combine it with #1, trust me.
3. So help me, do not talk bad about him to others ever! Build that man up. Let him know that he is adequate, enough and that he has your respect. The world will be cruel enough. Make sure he knows he always has a friend in you.
4. Have kids. They're hard as crap and will make you lose your mind, but man they make the journey so fun.
5. Let him buy the stinkin' truck. Better yet, buy it for him. For goodness sake, it's a truck not an island. And you know you're gonna think your man is hot driving that truck. Chances are you'll even get to drive it a time or two.
6. Don't pick up his wet towels, don't match his clothes for him and don't remind him to take his vitamins: you're his lover not his mother.
7. But baby him a little! Don't be so hard on number 6 that you skip the softness and love of number 7.
8. Tell him he's a good man, a great husband and an amazing father. Tell him on days you believe it, so that you're heart will be reminded of it on days when you wish he'd choke on his morning coffee.
9. Let him pick where you eat out. Mostly because you're completely indecisive, but it will earn you points!
10. Never ever talk about divorce. Don't ever treat it as an option.
11. Do things together. Not every single thing, but some things! Go for walks together, watch Big Brother together, take long drives down dirt roads together and make out together.
12. If he sits with you through The Notebook, sit with him though Mad Max: The Road Warrior. Yes, you'll hate your life and mentally plan your grocery list but boy will he appreciate it. Make sure to look up every once in a while and act interested.
13. Kiss him. If you don't, someone else will be happy to.
14. I understand that listening to him chew gets on your nerves, but your constant whining gets on his nerves. You're even.
15. Let him be the man of the house. Let him make decisions. Sometimes you won't agree, bite your tongue if you must, but allow him to shine.
16. Send him a little text for his eyes only. Believe me, he'll appreciate it. But first, make sure he isn't sitting in a business meeting in a room full of people. Or that he hasn't let his phone set on the kitchen table. We're trying to spark romance, not years of therapy for the kids.
17. Love his children well.
18. Be his best and most important friend. Listen to him talk about his work day, his truck exhaust and the gun he wants to buy next.
19. Marriage counseling is not for babies, losers or emotional basket cases. It's for couples who think $80 an hour is nothing compared to getting to the 50 year mark. It's worth it and it works.
20. If you're in a restaurant and you see your old boyfriend sitting across the way, look back at your husband and thank God for him. Don't think about what could've been. Garth got that one right, thank God for unanswered prayers y'all!
21. Give the kids ice cream for dinner, turn on some Spongebob...and lock your bedroom door. The house won't burn down and ice cream won't kill them.
Thank you for the last 21 years sweet boy. I'd repeat 19 of them in a second!!